End The disability housing crisis within Canada

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It’s come to my attention that the cost is higher, and the availability is almost non existent, for accessible housing, rental units. When I became homeless a year ago I learned that accessible housing was infinitely more difficult to find. I now know, even if you can find this type of housing, (even at University), it’s much more expensive.

My room and meal plan at Carleton, for 8 months, was $13’000. I have been trying to find less expensive and more permanent housing year round while I continue my education. This has been like finding a ‘needle in haystack’.

It’s important to also understand that it is more difficult to find a job as a person with a disability and therefore our income is typically lower. As well, for many people, the cost for equipment, medical care, and personal assistant care, among other needs, eats up varying but large amount of monthly funds. Sometimes it’s a choice between a paying for repairs for a wheelchair that works or necessary medication or even food.

This is why, today, I have chosen to take action in launching a campaign called ‘A Home for Benjamin’.

    To solve this problem I have come up with the following solutions.  

 I propose: 

Benjamins Law (as follows):

- All levels of Governement legislate Housing as a basic human right for all people, in line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 

- Federal Governemnt develop a National Housing Strategy for people with physical disabilities and work collaboratively with all levels of Government to require all new build, rental housing units, provide minimum 1-2 units or 10% that are truly and appropriately handicapped accessible.  Wider door and working elevator are not enough! 

- Commense working groups with people with disabilities to establish valid and appropriate standards for ease of accessible living   

- Ask the Governement to implement these changes to the building codes, as law,  by July 1 2022.  

-As well, provide mandates that, without incurring major structural changes, existing buildings be required to come up to code by 2025, providing at least one accessible unit in any building with more than 10 units.  This time line (2025) is in keeping with the deadline for Ontario to be fully accessible in the public sector.  

- The Governements, at all levels, need to provide funding for, and tax incentives for, buildings, both new and existing, to impliment these measures.  

- Rectfying this ‘housing shortage’ would be seen as positive step in allowing persons with physical disabilities access to the same living opportunities as able bodied individuals.